FUNdamentals Outdoor Soccer Rules
Revised & Approved: March 15th 2018
- The Field
1a) “Fundamentals” (small sided) Soccer U7 – U10 games shall be played only on fields designated and assigned by Cambridge Youth Soccer club
2a) U7-U8 Soccer program uses Size 3 balls at all times.
2b) U9 – U10 Soccer Program uses Size 4 balls at all times.
2c) The home team shall supply the game ball to the referee before the game.
- 2d) All players must wear soccer cleats.
- 2e) All players are required to wear shin pads under their socks.
2f) Each team shall bring two (CYS-issued) corner flags to the field for each game.
2g) A player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to himself/herself or another player. No hard casts (as per CYS Cast Policy). CYS asks that the parent/guardian of a player wearing a cast send a picture of the cast to the club so a determination can be made on whether it is acceptable.
2h) No jewelry (earrings, rings, necklaces or bracelets of any kind are permitted on the field If a referee observes a player wearing any jewelry items the player will be asked to leave the field and may not return for the remainder of the half. The jewelry must be removed or the player cannot continue to play in the game. NOTES: Medical bracelets are allowed. Religious items must be declared to the referee for review prior to the game for acceptance or rejection. The referees decision is final.
- Number of Players
3a) Each team roster has a maximum of fourteen (14) registered players.
3b) The “Fundamentals” (small sided) soccer game is played with seven (7) players per team on the field. i.e. 6 field players and 1 goalkeeper.
3c) The minimum number of players a team is permitted to play with is five (5), including the goalkeeper.
3d) Teams will be allowed a maximum of three (3) team officials in the bench area during games. All parents/siblings/friends/etc must sit/stand on the opposite side of the field from the bench area behind the dotted sideline parent line. Parents/siblings/friends/etc are not permitted to sit/stand behind the goal or the length of end line (the area between the goal posts and the corner flags).
NEW RULE for U9 & U10: “Game Leaders” (coaches) MUST sit on the player bench while Games are being played!
- Let the players play pressure free
- Give information in a calm manner
- Help keep players focused on the game being played
- Opportunity to give players on the bench feedback as the game is being played
- Opportunity to take notes – create a list of coaching points
- From the notes – 3 objectives for the 2nd half can be formed to be given at half-time
- If there is not space on the bench for “Game Leaders” coaches to sit the expectation is that they stand behind the bench
“Game Leaders” (coaches) are permitted to stand
- As players enter the field of play at a substitution at the same time assisting a player off the field
- Can come close to the touchline (within the Technical Area) to impart information to individual players (coach in the flow on the game) briefly before returning to the bench
- special circumstances, for example if they need to enter the field of play, with the referee’s permission, to assess an injured player.
Fields that do not have benches
- CYS will issue each “Game Leader” (coach) with a set of markers to create a 3m (3yd) x 3m (3yd) player location area
- The player location area will be located 5m (5yd) from the half way line and 3m (3yd) from the touchline
- All players not participating in the game on the field are required to remain within the player location area.
- Water bottles only are allowed in the player location area. Players are asked to leave all other clothing/equipment with parents
- “Game Leaders” (coaches) will be required to stand behind the Player Location Area at all times except for brief (10 – 15 seconds) coach in the flow game moments with individual players called to the touchline. Coaches should restrict these coach in the flow moments to a maximum of 3 per each half of a game.
- The “Game Leader” (coach) and other occupants of the technical area must behave in a responsible manner.
- The player location area prevents “Game Leader” (coach) from going behind the goal or “patrolling” up and down the length of the sideline.
- It also allows the referee the best opportunity to observe the substitutions of players.
NOTE: Referees will be required to
- check that “Game Leaders” (coaches) have correctly located the “Player location area”
- Ensure players & “Game leaders” (coaches) are compliant with Player Location area rules throughout the duration of the game.
4a) The Club shall assign referees for “Fundamentals” (small sided) U9 – U10 Soccer games. In the event that a Referee is not available, or has not been assigned, then Rule # 4b is in effect.
4b) In the event of a referee ‘no-show’, the “Away Team” coach shall referee the first (1st) half of the game and the “Home Team” coach shall referee the second (2nd) half. If both coaches are in agreement, a ‘third party’ (such as, but not limited to, a parent or a coach) may referee the entire game.
4c) Referees shall explain infractions to the offending players. This is encouraged by CYS technical staff, to help both young officials and young players better learn the game.
4d) As per Ontario Soccer Long Term Player Development (LTPD) U7 & U8 does not require referees. Game Leaders will be permitted on the field (1 per team) to support the players and help with the flow of the game. Game Leaders are only permitted to stay in their half of the field. Game Leaders are there to encourage the players and not to “coach” the game.
NOTE: U7 & U8 “Assistant Game Leaders” are required to comply with the “NEW” Game Leaders “MUST” sit on the bench rule as set out above for the U9 & U10 age category
- Duration of the Game & Playing Time
5a) U7-U10 soccer games shall be played with 2- 25 minute halves.
5b) All games will have a Half Time break of 5 minutes.
5c) Each player must receive equal playing time (50% of each game).
5d) No player(s) shall be left on for the entire game (except when a team has no substitutes).
5e) Cancellation of Games:
Games may be cancelled by the City of Cambridge if fields are determined to be unplayable. This decision is made on a daily basis by 2:30pm. Should any fields be cancelled the office shall contact all affected parties, including coaches, parents and referees. You may also CYS website/Facebook/Twitter feed to see the status of play, otherwise, you should report to the field as scheduled.
Games that are rained out will not be rescheduled.
- Start of Play
6a) At the beginning of a game, choice of halves and the kick-off shall be decided by the toss of a coin. The team that wins the toss shall decide which goal to attack in the first half. The other team will take the kick-off.
6b) At a kick-off, all players shall be in their own half of the field of play. All players opposing the team taking the kick-off shall be not less than 6 yards (5.5m) from the ball until it is kicked-off.
6c) The game shall be started by the referee/coach giving the signal.
6d) Should the player taking the kick-off play or touch the ball a second time before it has been played or touched by another player, the ball will be awarded to the opposing team.
6e) After a goal has been scored; the game shall be restarted by a kick-off, to be taken by a player of the team against which the goal was scored.
6h) After the first half of play, the teams shall change halves (sides) and the kick-off shall be taken by a player of the team opposing that which started the game.
6f) For any stoppage not mentioned elsewhere in these rules, the referee/Game Leader shall restart the game by dropping the ball at the place where it was when play was stopped, unless play was stopped in the penalty area. In this case, the ball shall be dropped on the penalty-area line at the point nearest to the where the ball was when play was stopped. The ball shall be in play as soon as it touches the ground.
Special Note 1: Restarts
Below is a list of restarts and how the referee will restart the game
- Corner Kicks – Direct
- All Free Kicks – Indirect Kick
- Pass-Ins (kick-ins) – Indirect Kick
- Goal Kicks – Indirect Kick
- Drop Balls – Indirect Kick
- Kick Offs – Indirect Kick
- Penalty Kick – Direct
Special Note 2:
A role of the referee is to also allow young players to learn the game. This may involve the referee allowing players the opportunity for minor infractions if incorrect technique is used/ simply mishit (kick-offs, kick-ins, goal kicks etc) to award a “Re-Do”.
The referee should ensure the same player attempts a second time, with verbal guidance and help
This should be done quickly and is an aid to help the young player learn and understand the game.
- Ball In and Out of Play
7a) The ball is out of play:
- When the whole of the ball has crossed the goal-line, whether on the ground or in the air.
- When the play has been stopped by the referee/coach.
7b) The ball is in play:
- At all other times including when it rebounds into play from a goal post, a cross-bar or after hitting the referee and remains in the field of play.
- Method of Scoring
8a) A goal is scored when the whole of the ball has crossed over the goal line, between the goal-posts and under the cross-bar, provided it has not been thrown, carried or intentionally propelled by hand or arm, by a player of the attacking team, except by a goalkeeper from within his own penalty area.
8b) The referee shall be the sole judge as to whether a goal has been scored.
8c) During the course of play, should any outside agent prevent the ball from passing into the goal or assist the ball into the goal, play shall be stopped. The referee shall restart the game by dropping the ball.
8d) Standings are not kept for “Fundamentals” (small sided) Games U7 – U8 – U9 – U10 soccer program as CYS follows the Ontario Soccer Long-Term Player Development Model.
9a) Unlimited substitutions are permitted at the following times with the approval of the referee:
Coaches are expected to have subs come on and off at the centre line in a controlled fashion.
- On any pass-in by either team
- After a goal is scored by either team
- At a goal kick by either team
- At the start of the 2nd Half
- To replace an injured player
Note: Substitutions may not occur on free kicks or corner kicks
- Pass-Ins (kick-ins)
10a) Pass-In will be used for U7 – U8 – U9 – U10
10b) A Pass-In is a method of restarting the play when the whole of the ball
has passed over the boundary line either on the ground or in the air.
10c) A Pass-In is taken at the point where the ball crossed the touch-line.
10d) A goal cannot be scored directly from a Pass In.
Note: As per LTPD there will be NO throw-ins at “Fundamentals” (small sided) Soccer Level
11a) For any infringement of the “Fundamentals” (small-sided) Soccer rules when the ball is in play, the referee may award a free kick to the non-offending team. The free kick shall be taken from the place where the infringement occurred,
11b) At the taking of a free-kick, the ball shall be stationary and all opponents shall be not less than 6 yards (5.5m) from the ball until it has been kicked. The ball shall be in play when it is kicked and moved.
11c) A player taking a free kick within his own penalty area shall kick the ball into play beyond the penalty area. The ball shall be in play when it has been kicked and moved and has passed outside the penalty area. All opponents shall be outside the penalty area and not less than 6 yards (5.5m) from the ball until it has been kicked. For any infringement of this rule, the free kick shall be retaken.
11d) A player taking a free-kick shall not play or touch the ball a second time until it has been played or touched by another player. For any infringement of this rule, a free kick shall be awarded to the opposing team.
12a) Penalty kicks can be awarded during a “Fundamentals” (small sided) Soccer game.
12b) If an infraction occurs within the Penalty AREA, a penalty kick will be awarded (to be taken from the penalty spot). If a penalty spot is not marked the referee will determine where the penalty kick will be taken from. Penalty kicks are taken 8yds away from the goal.
12c) All players must be outside the penalty area and behind the ball when a penalty kick is taken
- Goal Kicks (This is the only time the Dotted Retreat Line comes into play)
13a) A goal kick is a method of restarting the play when the ball, having last touched a player of the attacking team, passes across the end line, but not into the goal.
13b) Dotted Retreat Line
The opponents must drop off to the Dotted Retreat line to help the goalkeeper and players learn to play out from the back.
The ball is in play as soon as it leaves the goal area and is touched by a teammate. The opposition players cannot cross the Dotted Retreat Line until a player touches the ball. To assist players in this the referee will inform players to ‘retreat’. Further, they will inform players when they can cross the Dotted Retreat Line line by using the word ‘engage’
13c) If the player taking the goal kick plays or touches the ball a second time before it has been played or touched by another player, the player will be awarded a ‘Re-Do’.
13d) A goal may be scored directly from a goal kick but only against the opposing team.
13e) Any player can take a goal kick from the defending team. This restart MUST be a kick from the penalty area with the ball being stationary on the ground. (A drop kick, punt or throws will not be allowed as a restart for a goal kick)
14a) When the whole of the ball has crossed the goal-line, either on the ground or in the air, excluding that portion between the goal-posts, having last been played or touched by a member of the defending team, a corner-kick shall be awarded to the attacking team.
14b) The corner-kick shall be taken from the within the corner-arc nearest to where the ball crossed the goal line. All opponents shall be not less than 6 yards (5.5m) from the ball until it has been kicked. The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves.
14c) If the player taking the corner-kick plays or touches the ball a second time before it has been played or touched by another player, a free kick shall be awarded to the opposing team.
- The Goalkeeper
15a) The goalkeeper is the only player allowed to use their hands to handle the ball in the penalty area.
15b) The goalkeeper cannot handle the ball outside the penalty area.
15c) If the goalkeeper handles the ball outside the penalty area, a free kick will be awarded to the attacking team and taken at the location where the offence occurred.
15d) After making a save the goalkeeper may put the ball back into play within the penalty area either by kicking or throwing the ball. The goalkeeper shall be encouraged by the referee to play the ball quickly as possible to get the ball into play. Intentional time wasting shall result in a free kick outside the penalty area to the opposing team. The referee is asked to use their discretion in applying this rule. 6-10 seconds is long enough for a keeper to get the ball back into play as a guideline.
15e) If from an intentional back pass from a team mate the GK picks up the ball a free kick will be awarded to the opposition from the place the offense occurred.
15f) Retreat Line
When the goalkeeper collects the ball with their hands in open play, the opponents must drop off to the half-way line. The ball is in play as soon as it leaves the goalkeeper’s hands.
If the goalkeeper wants to play quickly they can do so. They do not have to wait for the opposition players to retreat.
17a) There are No Offside in the “Fundamentals” (small-sided) Soccer program U7 – U8 – U9 – U10.
- Water Breaks
18a) When the weather is extremely hot. The Referee and coaches may determine before the games starts to have a 1 to 2 minute water break. All parties will know about the water break before the game starts. This is for the sole purpose of giving only those players on the field some water. It is not to be used for coaching or other purposes.
- Forfeited Games (and Limited Number of Players)
19a) A game will be forfeited for any of the following reasons:
- Failure of a team to appear for a game.
- If a team delays the start of a game by more than fifteen (15) minutes.
- If a team has fewer than five (5) players.
Please note: players may not be available for all games during the season.
CYS understands this brings many concerns to coaches (parents/players) as on game night a limited amount of players will show up to play.
So to allow a “fair game” to be played CYS suggests you can mix the teams up and play a game
E.g. 4 players from the Red team + 8 players from the White team = 12 players (6 vs. 6 game)
- Finals Game Day
20a) Final Days will have all U7 – U8 – U9 – U10 teams play one full game and receive a participation award at the conclusion of the game.
20b) Final Days games dates will be published at the beginning of the season. Game times will be determined by CYS approximately two weeks prior to the end of the season. U7 and U8 will play on the Saturday of Finals Day weekend. U9 and U10 will play on the Sunday of Finals Day Weekend.
20c) Final Days games will be created by CYS. Efforts will be made to match teams of equal ability.
- Game Sheets
Game sheets will not be used in Mini Soccer (Under 7 – 8 – 9 – 10)
Small Sided Game Soccer Coaches will be asked to forward the players names and the shirt number allocated to them before the first game of the season using a form given to the them from CYS.
- Heading the Ball (NEW)
At U7/U8 – Heading the ball is not permitted
If a player unintentionally or deliberately heads the ball the “GAME LEADERS” will stop the
Game. The game will be restarted with a drop-ball from the place where the ball was kicked.
At U9/U10 – Heading the ball is not permitted
If a player unintentionally or deliberately heads the ball the referee will stop the game. The game will be restarted with an indirect free kick to the opposing team from the place where the ball was headed.